Journey Church opens new building to the community


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After several years of work and preparation, Journey Church opened the new building on September 26. They did most of the work themselves and the building contains several custom-made rooms. Scott Roberson | Daily newspaper

Well, it was a home of their own.

Since the Journey Church was formed in 2008 in Franklin, it has always met in any available space. They worshiped together in homes, rented space in a movie theater, and arranged to meet at Franklin Schools on Sundays.

All these spaces allowed them to practice their faith together and to form a community in Christ. But a place for them has always been in their plans.

“I say all the time, it’s just a building. It is a tool. It is something that we can use to help people find and follow Christ. But the people are the church, ”said Jim Clayton, pastor at Journey Church. “Now we can use it to help other people.”

What started as a vision 13 years ago has finally become a reality. Journey Church, a Franklin-based congregation, moved into its own building of worship in the spring, after years of hand renovating what was once a medical equipment manufacturing company.

Led by a dedicated team of volunteers, they installed rugs and flooring, hooked up televisions, added lighting and created a scene from scratch. The process was arduous, but well worth it, Clayton said.

“When we came here and talked about buying this, I could see what it would become in my mind. So I kept telling people, ‘I know you can’t see it yet, but I do. can. It’s gonna be awesome. ‘ It’s great to see it finally come to fruition, ”he said.

Pastor Jim Clayton poses in the sanctuary of the New Franklin Home at Journey Church Wednesday.  Scott Roberson |  Daily newspaper
Pastor Jim Clayton poses in the sanctuary of the New Franklin House at Journey Church Wednesday. Scott Roberson | Daily newspaper

Journey Church began as a Bible study in the home of Clayton and his wife, Jodi. After about a year, they started the church, meeting for the first time in September 2008 at Northwood Elementary School in Franklin. The church grew and eventually found larger spaces to meet at: Franklin Community Middle School, then Canary Creek Cinema.

“We were happy there, but we kept our eyes peeled in case something opened up,” Clayton said.

Their vigilance was rewarded when the building at 3062 Hudson Street on the north side of Franklin became available. Church leaders visited the space and were excited about the potential.

After long discussions, they decided to buy it in 2016.

“We have decided to go ahead and see what happens,” Clayton said.

Once the building was secured, Journey Church set to work. A fundraising campaign raised funds for the necessary renovations. To save money, they offered to do much of the work themselves. Clayton recruited volunteers to help with different aspects of building the church.

Although the medical equipment manufacturing company that previously occupied the space has disappeared, the vestiges of years of industrial work have remained. Dust from countless hours of grinding metal coated walls and floors, sometimes combining with moisture to create a brown slime. The machines had been abandoned and had to be eliminated. Electric cords hung from the ceiling.

As the volunteers cleaned and worked, they often found needles – one of the items made at the site.

“There was so much left. We scrapped as much as we could and the rest we just had to throw away, ”Clayton said.

Church members installed a new ceiling, painted the entire space, added carpeting, and built the stage and lighting. They tore off much of the existing structure and built new walls.

The only aspects of the project that church members did not take charge of were the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and electrical systems, Clayton said.

He credits one particular volunteer, Steve Trego, who was constantly available for work. Often it was just the two of them to devote time to weekday evenings and Saturdays.

The week before Easter, church leaders learned that the building had passed all inspections. They could hold their first service in the new church during the holiest of Christian celebrations.

“It was four days before Easter that we got our occupation, so we were trying to get everyone in here. But it was exciting, ”Clayton said.

Hall of Journey Church in Franklin.  After several years of work and preparation, Journey Church opened the new building on September 26.  They did most of the work themselves and the building contains several custom-made rooms.  Scott Roberson |  Daily newspaper
Hall of Journey Church in Franklin. After several years of work and preparation, Journey Church opened the new building on September 26. They did most of the work themselves and the building contains several custom-made rooms. Scott Roberson | Daily newspaper

Passing through the entrance doors of the church, visitors are immediately greeted in an airy and spacious hall. A coffee maker and snacks allow people to grab something to eat and drink after the service, while tables in the lobby provide a place to chat with fellow worshipers.

Televisions broadcast the service in case parents need to take their kids out for some reason. A custom hardwood reception designed for a one-of-a-kind centerpiece from the moment you walk in.

“For our people, this is something they can be proud of. They own it because everyone gave to make it happen. A lot of people are putting work into it, ”Clayton said. “People are delighted to be able to come to us. “

At one end of the hall is the entrance to the worship space. The high-ceiling auditorium features a massive stage and a booth in the back allows church officials to control sound, lighting, and other aspects of the service.

Returning to the lobby, people enter the Kidz Zone. In a series of three designated halls, different age groups have a place of worship with their peers.

Each room has a different theme, like explorers, sailors, and scouts. Handmade decorations give each space a unique feel. For example, in the Navigators’ Room – for children in grades one to five – Jeep ornaments on the walls and bright lights create a lively space to relax.

“We want the kids to have a good time because if they don’t want to come back their parents won’t want to come back,” Clayton said.

Parents who bring their children there receive a visual reminder of how fast children are growing. Transparent cans filled with marbles are located on a shelf. Each cartridge represents a year in a child’s life, and the marbles represent the number of weeks remaining until the child’s 18th birthday.

“When your child is born, you have about 936 weeks until he is 18,” Clayton said. “It shows how time flies. Each week, when they drop off their children, they will remember that time is running out. “

Although they have been meeting at the church since April, small projects such as creating spaces for youth worship continued throughout the spring and summer.

Now it’s basically all over, Clayton said.

To celebrate the opening of the new building, Journey Church is holding a community open house at 10 a.m. on Sunday. After worship, visitors can tour the church and enjoy food trucks, inflatables, and other activities.

“We are delighted to invite the community to come and see what we have been doing,” said Clayton.

If you are going to

Inauguration of the Journey Church

What: A celebration hosted by the Franklin-based church to recognize its new space for worship. After worship, organize food trucks and inflatables for the kids, as well as other fun activities.

When: 10 a.m. on Sunday

Where: 3062, rue Hudson, Franklin

No cost

Information: Journeychurch.net

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